We’ve all suffered from lack of sleep from time to time. Getting less than our required 40 winks can leave us feeling tired, groggy, and just a little bit irritable. According to NHS statistics, one in 3 of us suffer from poor sleep, with stress, computers and taking work home often blamed.
As an employer, this is a concern, with lack of sleep having noticeable impacts on overall work place productivity. Figures collated by the UK Government found that the UK economy loses 200,000 working days per year to lack of sleep – leading to a cost of £30 billion!
Read on to discover more impacts of lack of sleep, what the optimum rest time is for a healthy lifestyle, and the positive results of a good night’s sleep.
As well as affecting overall employee productivity, lack of sleep can have a number of serious impacts for employee health and wellbeing, which could lead to further problems. For example, studies have found sleep loss and poor-quality sleep lead to accidents and injuries on the job, which could have otherwise been avoided.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School surveyed more than 10,000 people in the U.S. and found that that lack of sleep was responsible for 274,000 workplace accidents and errors each year. This is further supported by data from the UK, where the risk of injury in the workplace increases by as much as 25%-30% for those working night shifts.
Poor quality sleep can also lead to a number of serious health problems for employees, with lack of sleep increasing the risk of conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes. Adults who sleep fewer than six hours a day have a 13% higher mortality rate than adults who sleep at least seven hours.
Other negative impacts caused by lack of sleep include:
There is no definitive answer to this question, with sleep requirements varying from person to person. However, we commonly us need around 8 hours of good-quality sleep a night to function properly.
If you’re finding your employees are frequently tired, and suffering from symptoms associated with poor-quality sleep, it’s likely that they need to increase the number of hours spent per night sleeping.
From assessing the negative impacts that poor sleep can have on employee health and wellbeing, it’s easy to see the benefits that a good night’s sleep can have for your people:
We all naturally feel tired at two different times of day: 2pm and 2am. Whilst, the majority of workers benefit from a day shift, which allows for greater periods of rest, there are 3.2 million night workers in the UK who are at more risk to the impacts of poor quality sleep.If your business is one that utilise night shift workers, it’s imperative that practices are in place to ensure employee wellbeing associated with sleep. This could include:
To encourage a greater sleep culture for all employees, you can:
CiC have developed a session to address the epidemic of poor sleep and to give tips for getting a healthy, restful
night’s rest. We can deliver this session live in person and as a webinar. Get in touch with one of our expert Employee Assistance Programme consults, who can help your business improve wellbeing in the workplace.